Life-death-rebirth deity

Life-death-rebirth deity

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A dying god, also known as a dying-and-rising or resurrection deity, is a god who dies and is resurrected or reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. Male examples include the ancient Near Eastern and Greek deities Baal
Baʿal
Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

, Melqart
Melqart
Melqart, properly Phoenician Milk-Qart "King of the City", less accurately Melkart, Melkarth or Melgart , Akkadian Milqartu, was tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre as Eshmun protected Sidon. Melqart was often titled Ba‘l Ṣūr "Lord of Tyre", the ancestral king of the royal line...

, Adonis
Adonis
Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

, Eshmun
Eshmun
Eshmun was a Phoenician god of healing and the tutelary god of Sidon.This god was known at least from the Iron Age period at Sidon and was worshipped also in Tyre, Beirut, Cyprus, Sardinia, and in Carthage where the site of Eshmun's temple is now occupied by the chapel of Saint Louis.According to...

, Attis
Attis
Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration...

  Tammuz, Asclepius
Asclepius
Asclepius is the God of Medicine and Healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia , Iaso , Aceso , Aglæa/Ægle , and Panacea...

, Orpheus
Orpheus
Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

, as well as Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, Ra
Ra
Ra is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the Fifth Dynasty he had become a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun...

, Osiris
Osiris
Osiris is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and...

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, Zalmoxis
Zalmoxis
Zalmoxis , is a divinity of the Getae, mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories IV, 93-96...

, Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, and Odin
Odin
Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

. Female examples are Inanna
Inanna
Inanna, also spelled Inana is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare....

, also known as Ishtar
Ishtar
Ishtar is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to the cognate north-west Semitic goddess Astarte.-Characteristics:...

, whose cult dates to 4000 BCE, and Persephone
Persephone
In Greek mythology, Persephone , also called Kore , is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest-goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld; she was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld....

, the central figure of the Eleusinian Mysteries
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

, whose cult may date to 1700 BCE as the unnamed goddess worshiped in Crete.

History of the concept


The term "dying god" is associated with the works of James Frazer
James Frazer
Sir James George Frazer , was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion...

, Jane Ellen Harrison
Jane Ellen Harrison
Jane Ellen Harrison was a British classical scholar, linguist and feminist. Harrison is one of the founders, with Karl Kerenyi and Walter Burkert, of modern studies in Greek mythology. She applied 19th century archaeological discoveries to the interpretation of Greek religion in ways that have...

, and their fellow Cambridge Ritualists
Cambridge Ritualists
The Cambridge Ritualists, the myth and ritual school, were a recognised group of classical scholars, mostly in Cambridge, England, including Jane Ellen Harrison, Gilbert Murray , A. B. Cook, and others...

. In their seminal works The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer . It first was published in two volumes in 1890; the third edition, published 1906–15, comprised twelve volumes...

and Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, Frazer and Harrison argued that all myths are echoes of rituals, and that all rituals have as their primordial purpose the manipulation of natural phenomena by means of sympathetic magic
Sympathetic magic
Sympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence.-Similarity and contagion:The theory of sympathetic magic was first developed by Sir James George Frazer in The Golden Bough...

. Consequently, the rape and return of Persephone, the rending and repair of Osiris, the travails and triumph of Baldr, derive from primitive rites intended to renew the fertility of withered land and crops.

The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

 argued that archetypal
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

 processes such as death and resurrection were part of the "trans-personal symbolism" of the collective unconscious
Collective unconscious
Collective unconscious is a term of analytical psychology, coined by Carl Jung. It is proposed to be a part of the unconscious mind, expressed in humanity and all life forms with nervous systems, and describes how the structure of the psyche autonomously organizes experience...

, and could be utilized in the task of psychological integration. Jung's argument, in combination with that of the Cambridge Ritualists, has been developed by Károly Kerényi and Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell
Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience...

.

Jesus



Some scholars, beginning with Franz Cumont
Franz Cumont
Franz-Valéry-Marie Cumont was a Belgian archaeologist and historian, a philologist and student of epigraphy, who brought these often isolated specialties to bear on the syncretic mystery religions of Late Antiquity, notably Mithraism. Cumont was a graduate of the University of Ghent...

, classify Jesus as a syncretized example of this archetype
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

. In the Victorian era, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which practiced theurgy and spiritual development...

 used parallels between Christ, Osiris, and other solar dying-and-rising gods to construct elaborate systems of mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 and theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

. Following his conversion to Christianity, C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

 believed that the resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

 belonged in this category of myths, with the additional property of having actually happened: "If God chooses to be mythopoeic—and is not the sky itself a myth—shall we refuse to be mythopathic?"

New Testament scholar Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price
Robert McNair Price is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including...

 writes that the Jesus narrative has strong parallels with other Middle Eastern narratives about life-death-rebirth deities, parallels that he writes Christian apologists have tried to minimize.

Criticism


Tryggve Mettinger argues that there is a scholarly consensus that the category is inappropriate. The chief criticism charges it with reductionism
Reductionism
Reductionism can mean either an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things or a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can...

, insofar as it subsumes a range of disparate myths under a single category and ignores important distinctions. Marcel Detienne
Marcel Detienne
Marcel Detienne is a Belgian historian and specialist in the study of ancient Greece. He is Professor Emeritus at The Johns Hopkins University, where he held the Basil L...

 argues that it risks making Christianity the standard by which all religion is judged, since death and resurrection are more central to Christianity than many other faiths. Jonathan Z. Smith
Jonathan Z. Smith
Jonathan Zittell Smith is a historian of religions. His research includes the theory of ritual, Hellenistic religions, Māori cults in the 19th century, and the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana...

, a scholar of comparative religions, writes the category is "largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts." Dag Øistein Endsjø
Dag Øistein Endsjø
Dag Øistein Endsjø is a Norwegian professor in religious studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. and a human rights activist...

, another scholar of religion, points out how a number of those often defined as dying-and-rising-deities, like Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and a number of figures in ancient Greek religion, actually died as ordinary mortals, only to become gods of various stature after they were resurrected from the dead. Not dying as gods, they thus defy the definition of “dying-and-rising-gods”.

Beginning with an overview of the Athenian
Classical Athens
The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was a notable polis of Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Hippias...

 ritual of growing and withering herb gardens at the Adonia festival, Detienne suggests that rather than being a stand-in for crops in general (and therefore the cycle of death and rebirth), these herbs (and Adonis) were part of a complex of associations in the Greek mind that centered on spices. These associations included seduction, trickery, gourmandise, and the anxieties of childbirth. From his point of view, Adonis's death is only one datum among the many that must be used to analyze the festival, the myth, and the god.

List of life-death-rebirth deities


  • Australian Aboriginal mythology
    Australian Aboriginal mythology
    Australian Aboriginal myths are the stories traditionally performed by Aboriginal peoples within each of the language groups across Australia....

    • Julunggul
      Julunggul
      In the Australian Aboriginal mythology of Arnhem Land, Julunggul is a rainbow snake goddess, who oversaw the maturing and initiation of boys into manhood...

    • Wawalag
      Wawalag
      In Australian Aboriginal mythology, the Wawalag were a pair of sisters who were daughters of Djanggawul. They lived in a whirlpool and were eaten by Yurlungur, who was later forced to regurgitate them. Their rebirth is used as a symbol in boy-to-man ceremonies....

  • Akkadian mythology
    • Tammuz
    • Ishtar
      Ishtar
      Ishtar is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to the cognate north-west Semitic goddess Astarte.-Characteristics:...

  • Arabian mythology
    Arabian mythology
    Arabian mythology comprises the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arabs. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia...

    • Phoenix
      Phoenix (mythology)
      The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

  • Aztec mythology
    Aztec mythology
    The aztec civilization recognized a polytheistic mythology, which contained the many deities and supernatural creatures from their religious beliefs. "orlando"- History :...

    • Quetzalcoatl
      Quetzalcoatl
      Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered serpent". The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE...

    • Xipe Totec
      Xipe Totec
      In Aztec mythology and religion, Xipe Totec was a life-death-rebirth deity, god of agriculture, vegetation, the east, disease, spring, goldsmiths, silversmiths and the seasons. Xipe Totec was also known by the alternative names Tlatlauhca, Tlatlauhqui Tezcatlipoca and Youalahuan...

  • Canaanite mythology
    • Adonis
      Adonis
      Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

    • Baal
      Baal
      Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

    • Eshmun
      Eshmun
      Eshmun was a Phoenician god of healing and the tutelary god of Sidon.This god was known at least from the Iron Age period at Sidon and was worshipped also in Tyre, Beirut, Cyprus, Sardinia, and in Carthage where the site of Eshmun's temple is now occupied by the chapel of Saint Louis.According to...

    • Melqart
      Melqart
      Melqart, properly Phoenician Milk-Qart "King of the City", less accurately Melkart, Melkarth or Melgart , Akkadian Milqartu, was tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre as Eshmun protected Sidon. Melqart was often titled Ba‘l Ṣūr "Lord of Tyre", the ancestral king of the royal line...

  • Christian mythology
    Christian mythology
    Christian mythology is the body of myths associated with Christianity. In the study of mythology, the term "myth" refers to a traditional story, often one which is regarded as sacred and which explains how the world and its inhabitants came to have their present form.Classicist G.S. Kirk defines a...

    • Jesus
      Jesus
      Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...



  • Dacian mythology
    • Zalmoxis
      Zalmoxis
      Zalmoxis , is a divinity of the Getae, mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories IV, 93-96...

  • Egyptian mythology
    Egyptian mythology
    Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature...

    • Osiris
      Osiris
      Osiris is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He is classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and...

    • Amun
      Amun
      Amun, reconstructed Egyptian Yamānu , was a god in Egyptian mythology who in the form of Amun-Ra became the focus of the most complex system of theology in Ancient Egypt...

    • Amun-Min (Amen-Min)
      Min (god)
      Min is an Ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in predynastic times . He was represented in many different forms, but was often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail...

  • Etruscan mythology
    Etruscan mythology
    The Etruscans were a diachronically continuous population, with a distinct language and culture during the period of earliest European writing, in the Mediterranean Iron Age in the second half of the first millennium BC...

    • Atunis -Also known as "Adonis" (Greek)
  • Greek mythology
    Greek mythology
    Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

    • Adonis
      Adonis
      Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

    • Cronus
      Cronus
      In Greek mythology, Cronus or Kronos was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky...

    • Dionysus
      Dionysus
      Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

    • Orpheus
      Orpheus
      Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

    • Persephone
      Persephone
      In Greek mythology, Persephone , also called Kore , is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest-goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld; she was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld....


  • Indian Mythology
    Indian mythology
    Indian mythology may refer to:*Indian epic poetry*Vedic mythology*Hindu mythology*Buddhist mythology*Native American mythology...

    • Kali
      Kali
      ' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

    • Shiva
      Shiva
      Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

    • Chinnamasta

  • Japanese mythology
    Japanese mythology
    Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami...

    • Izanagi
      Izanagi
      is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shinto, and is also referred to in the roughly translated Kojiki as "male-who-invites" or Izanagi-no-mikoto. It is also pronounced Izanaki-no-Okami....

  • Khoikhoi mythology
    Khoikhoi mythology
    This is a summary of some of the gods, heroes and monsters that appear in the beliefs of the Khoikhoi, an ethnic group from southern Africa.- Gods and heroes :...

    • Heitsi-eibib
      Heitsi-eibib
      Heitsi-eibib is a figure in the Khoikhoi mythology. While he is usually mentioned as a cultural hero, Heitsi-eibib's role in the mythology is fluid. He is sometimes called a trickster figure, similar to Cagn of the related Bushmen people. In other contexts, he appears as a patron of hunters and in...

  • Native American mythology
    Native American mythology
    Native American mythology is the body of traditional narratives associated with Native American religion from a mythographical perspective. Native American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons,...

    • Kaknu
      Ohlone mythology
      The mythology of the Ohlone Native American people of Northern California include creation myths as well as other ancient narratives that contain elements of their spiritual and philosophical belief systems, and their conception of the world order...

  • Norse mythology
    Norse mythology
    Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

    • Gullveig
      Gullveig
      In Norse mythology, Gullveig is a being who was speared by the Æsir, burnt three times, and yet thrice reborn. Upon her third rebirth, Gullveig's name becomes Heiðr and she is described as a knowledgeable and skillful völva. Gullveig/Heiðr is solely attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th...

    • Odin
      Odin
      Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

    • Baldr
  • Phrygian mythology
    • Attis
      Attis
      Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration...


  • Religion in ancient Rome
    Religion in ancient Rome
    Religion in ancient Rome encompassed the religious beliefs and cult practices regarded by the Romans as indigenous and central to their identity as a people, as well as the various and many cults imported from other peoples brought under Roman rule. Romans thus offered cult to innumerable deities...

    • Aeneas
      Aeneas
      Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

    • Bacchus
      Dionysus
      Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

    • Proserpina
      Proserpina
      Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. Her Greek goddess' equivalent is Persephone. The probable origin of her name comes from the Latin, "proserpere" or "to emerge," in respect to the growing of grain...

  • Slavic mythology
    Slavic mythology
    Slavic mythology is the mythological aspect of the polytheistic religion that was practised by the Slavs before Christianisation.The religion possesses many common traits with other religions descended from the Proto-Indo-European religion....

    • Veles
      Veles (god)
      Veles also known as Volos is a major Slavic supernatural force of earth, waters and the underworld, associated with dragons, cattle, magic, musicians, wealth and trickery...

    • Jarilo
      Jarilo
      Jarilo , alternatively Yarilo, Iarilo, or Gerovit, was a major male Proto-Slavic deity of vegetation, fertility and spring, also associated with war and harvest.-Sources:...

  • Sumerian mythology
    • Dumuzi
    • Inanna
      Inanna
      Inanna, also spelled Inana is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare....

  • Yoruba mythology
    • Obatala
      Obatala
      In the religion of the Yoruba people, Obàtálá is the creator of human bodies, which were supposedly brought to life by Olorun's breath.Obàtálá is also the owner of all ori or heads. Any orisha may lay claim to an individual, but until that individual is initiated into the priesthood of that orisha,...

    • Moremi
      Moremi
      Moremi Ajasoro, Princess of the Yoruba was a figure of high significance in the history of the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. She was a member-by-marriage of the royal family of Emperor Oduduwa, the tribe's fabled founding father....



See also

  • Descent to the underworld
    Descent to the underworld
    The descent to the underworld is a mytheme of comparative mythology found in a diverse number of religions from around the world, including Christianity. The hero or upper-world deity journeys to the underworld or to the land of the dead and returns, often with a quest-object or a loved one, or...

  • Greco-Roman mysteries
    Greco-Roman mysteries
    Mystery religions, sacred Mysteries or simply mysteries, were religious cults of the Greco-Roman world, participation in which was reserved to initiates....

  • John Barleycorn
    John Barleycorn
    "John Barleycorn" is an English folksong. The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky...

  • List of virgin births
  • Mytheme
    Mytheme
    In the study of mythology, a mytheme is the essential kernel of a myth—an irreducible, unchanging element, a minimal unit that is always found shared with other, related mythemes and reassembled in various ways—"bundled" was Claude Lévi-Strauss's image— or linked in more...

  • Osiris-Dionysus
  • Resurrection
    Resurrection
    Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

  • Sparagmos
    Sparagmos
    Sparagmos refers to an ancient Dionysian ritual in which a living animal, or sometimes even a human being, would be sacrificed by being dismembered, by the tearing apart of limbs from the body. Sparagmos was frequently followed by omophagia...

  • Vegetation deity
    Vegetation deity
    A vegetation deity is a nature deity whose disappearance and reappearance, or life, death and rebirth, embodies the growth cycle of plants. In nature worship, the deity can be a god or goddess with the ability to regenerate itself. A vegetation deity is often a fertility deity...